The 6th edition of the State Level Indigenous Youth Festival inaugurated here on Saturday by Taba Tedir, Minister, Indigenous Affairs. The festival is being organized by the Indigenous Faith and Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh (IFCSAP) and will conclude on November 12.
Hundreds of delegates representing various tribes and different parts of state are participating the festival to showcase their respective culture and tradition.
Addressing the gathering, Tedir said that “Well established religions should not try to religiously convert people practising indigenous faiths and rather should strive to promote and protect them,”
Stating that the people practising indigenous faiths are decreasing in number each year, the minister said that people concerned should not forget who they are, especially youths, and take it as their own responsibility and duty to protect and preserve their indigenous culture and tradition.
He also suggested taking active part in the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples which is observed every year on August 9.
Pointing out that indigenous culture and traditions are deeply aligned with the nature and teaches us to respect it, Tedir said that there are many indigenous traditions which restricts hunting, felling trees, etc for certain period and which is actually good for the nature.
He informed that the state government led by chief minister Pema Khandu has initiated a lot towards the protection and promotion of indigenous culture and tradition which is evident by the fact that the department of Indigenous Affairs exist, and that the chief minister has also allocated funds for various initiatives to promote indigenous culture.
Responding to the memorandum submitted to him earlier by the organizing team, Tedir termed their appeal genuine and assured to pursue construction of a Donyi-Polo Cultural Hall here, with the chief minister.
Meanwhile, Liromoba MLA Nyamar Karbak, who also attended the inaugural event, said “losing money is nothing as it can be earned back, losing character is a substantial loss but losing culture is losing everything.”
Adding that indigenous people who don’t practise their culture and tradition cannot be called indigenous, Karbak said that people should avoid such religions which discourage its followers from practising their indigenous culture and traditions.
He also expressed his gratitude to the organisers for celebrating the festival in such a grand manner and providing festival goers an opportunity to witness the culture and tradition of various tribes of the state under one platform.
Basar local MLA Gokar Basar in his deliberation emphasised on respecting, protecting and promoting local cultures and traditions. He also emphasised on including traditional games in annual events of educational institutions and also in state Olympic events.
Besides exhibition and local cuisines stalls, the cultural extravaganza, literary, games and sports events, seminar and symposiums, etc will mark the the indigenous festival.